The FBHVC monthly report

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The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs represents our interests nationally, fighting for those who enjoy using their Classic Cars.

Robin Astle, our Club's FBHVC representative gives a monthly report on what's going on.

Robin Astle

September 2022

by Robin Astle.

From FBHVC Newsletter 2022 No. 3

Legislation by Lindsay Irvine


By the time you read this, the Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) Bill will have had its 3rd reading in the Lords and be on its way to becoming law. Readers of previous editions of this column will know that this private member’s bill, supported by Sir Greg Knight, was introduced to reverse the malign effect of the 2014 Damijan Vnuk case where a Slovenian farmworker was knocked off his ladder by a trailer attached to a reversing tractor and insurers refused to pay out because the accident occurred on private land. The European Court of Justice ruled that the claim should have been covered by a motor insurance policy resulting in the range of vehicles that required insurance to include many used on private land. Along with other organisations, the Federation expressed concern that if not reversed; the need for insurance might extend to vehicles on a SORN and would have a potentially crippling effect on motorsports. The EU took steps to reverse some of judgement but since the UK courts had already applied the judgment to cases arising in the UK before Brexit, separate UK legislation was required. For more of the background see Newsletter Issue 4, 2021. The Government provided support to the Private Member’s Bill intended to undo the problem, noting that if not reversed, to cover the additional risk, premiums for all would rise by at least £50 per annum. Those threats are now removed together with the possibility that ride on lawnmowers and other equipment not used on public roads would be subject to compulsory road accident insurance.

DVLA by Ian Edmunds

We are pleased to able to report positively on the continuing recovery by DVLA from the difficulties and backlogs of the pandemic.

Now with additional leased premises both in Swansea and in Birmingham plus the recruitment of significant numbers of new staff at these sites their turnaround times on most of the paper transactions are back to pre-pandemic levels. There are no significant backlogs remaining. By way of confirmation of this encouraging news our chairman tells me that a recent application for the renewal of his driving license including C1 entitlement was returned within 12 days.

At the last Historic Vehicle User Group forum DVLA shared some data from First Registrations and from Kits and Rebuilds, which are of course the two sections mainly involved with the registration of historic vehicles, although DVLA are not able to extract historic vehicles from the general data. These show a general reduction in volumes compared with pre-pandemic times. K & R response times are at their normal level.

I have no doubt that you will all have read the media coverage of projected cuts in Civil Service headcounts of up to 20% together with the predictable reaction from the appropriate Trade Unions. The Federation has no views on those plans as such but we will watch the situation very carefully as it develops and lobby appropriately to ensure the current services available for historic vehicles remain at least at their current levels.

Understandably when sending important and potentially irreplaceable documents to DVLA in Swansea many people make use of a Royal Mail ‘signed for’ mail service. From even before I took on this DVLA liaison role I was aware of many contradictory stories and rumours concerning the efficacy of doing so. This was compounded just prior to the pandemic by contradictory information provided separately by DVLA to our Chairman and to his daughter. As normality returns, I have been able to obtain a definitive comment from DVLA. They are very clear – “sending important documents using Royal Mail’s ‘Signed For 1st Class’ service should allow us to track receipt of the application at the Agency”.

There are two other important points that need to be made regarding DVLA mail operations. The first is that even with the undoubted success of their digital services they still receive a colossal volume of physical mail, some 80,000 items per day on average! To assist with the sorting and distribution of this there are over 40 different post codes for their various driver and vehicle services. Obviously, the use of the correct post code will aid the sorting process and reduce the risk of any mail being mislaid or wrongly directed. A list of those most applicable to the needs of the historic vehicle community is shown with this column. Secondly, several of my FBHVC colleagues and I have seen this mail operation in action for ourselves and it is a very thorough and considered process.

Unfortunately, I have to end on a somewhat less optimistic note with reference to one ongoing problem and, possibly worse, the apparent return of a problem we thought we had resolved.

I have written before about ‘missing’ chassis numbers, which in practice means any situation where the original chassis number is no longer present in its original form. Most recently this has arisen with regard to replacement chassis plates but it can arise in many different circumstances. In this situation the DVLA position is that the original vehicle no longer exists and that the vehicle now presented is a fresh vehicle which must be registered as such, probably with a Q registration. We recognise that there are some, both individuals and companies, who seek historic status for vehicles which are not entitled to it and that this policy is in part intended to counter such endeavours and, in that respect, we support it. However, in some circumstances we feel the application is unreasonable. This whole issue has been discussed with DVLA on several occasions over some years to no avail and the Federation is currently considering the next step.

Following protracted lobbying and discussions FBHVC believed a few years ago that it had obtained agreement from DVLA that a freshly constructed body on a vehicle with a chassis would be deemed acceptable if it was of a type and style that could have been fitted when the vehicle was first built. Unfortunately, it seems that DVLA may have now changed their minds. We know definitively of two cases, and anecdotally of a few more, where applications to register vehicles with what seem to us to be acceptable newly constructed bodies have been rejected. We have raised the issue with DVLA but they do not seem very keen to provide an explanation. We will keep trying!

DVLA Sections & Post Codes

First registration applications for an age-related number, (imported vehicle, or ‘found vehicle’ with no known previous GB registration number) –

1st Registration Team
SA99 1BE

V765 and Reconstructed classic applications –

SA99 1ZZ

Changes to a registered vehicle (including date of manufacture) –

SA99 1BA

(K&R is Kits and Rebuilds; CCU is Central Capture Unit)

Technical & Events by Malcolm Grubb

Drive It Day & Ride It Day 2022

Where were you and what did you drive or ride? Hopefully you all managed to take part in one form or another. I can honestly say that 2022 was the most successful Drive It Day/Ride It Day to date. The aim of the day was to support the NSPCC’s Childline®. I am delighted to announce the historic vehicle movement increased the fundraising by 17% from last year. The funds raised in 2021 allowed the FBHVC to fund a day of NSPCC Childline® operations for One Unforgettable Day which took place on the opening day of the Classic Motor Show held in November 2021.

Our One Unforgettable Day (24 hour period) enabled the historic vehicle movement to achieve the following for our young people:

  • A day that 700 children will never forget.
  • It was a day where 33% talked to us about mental health, 13% about suicidal thoughts and feelings and 10% about Family relationships.
  • A day where there were 5,898 message board views, the most viewed boards were sex and sexual health, creative writing and self-harm. A day where 229 new Childline accounts were created and sports and exercise, drugs and being assertive were highlighted on the Childline website.
  • A day where children from all walks of life spoke up, where 71% were girls, 23% were boys and 2% were transgender, and where the majority were 12-15 year-olds.
  • For many children reaching out to Childline, 12 November 2021 became the day they found a listening ear, saw a way forward and took back control.

Our community made that day possible.

So, on behalf of those 700 children and everyone at Childline and the NSPCC, thank you for making sure children across the UK had a place to turn.

Roll on Drive It Day and Ride It Day 2023. The date for your diaries is 23rd April 2023.

MP Praises Federation ‘Drive It Day’ Initiative

Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicle Group Sir Greg Knight has praised the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs for their ‘Drive It Day’ initiative which has raised money for the NSPCC’s Childline and encourages classic car owners to take to the roads in their pride and joy.

Sir Greg joined this year’s ‘Drive It Day’ in his 1963 Jensen C-V8 Mark I, for a tour around his East Yorkshire constituency.

Sir Greg said: “The objectives of Drive It Day are supported by the All-Party Parliamentary Group, which works closely with the Federation to promote and preserve the right of motorists to use historic vehicles on public roads.”

“Drive it day helps to show our remarkable motoring heritage to the general public, gives our vehicles a healthy run and raises money for a good cause.”

Sir Greg has owned his blue C-V8 for 17 years and he is still thrilled with the car after all this time. ‘It really is a delight to drive’ he says.

Looking for a place to visit with your historic vehicle?

Gilks’ Garage Café is not just another ‘themed café’. It's run by the same family that originally ran the garage business, sharing the same passion as their forefathers, to deliver honest friendly service to the highest possible standard.

We serve local produce where possible, homemade cakes and of course great coffee in a genuine friendly, fun and funky environment.

Decorated using original signs and features from the garage’s heyday as a local Rootes Dealership, the café is popular with classic vehicle owners looking for a pit stop cool destination. Gilks’ also welcomes clubs for breakfast, brunch or lunch, plus pizzas and burgers every Friday and Saturday from 17:00 to 20:00hrs, (limited to approx. 20 cars due to size restrictions).

Situated on the edge of the village of Kineton, it is a gateway to great driving roads in south Warwickshire. Gilks’ Garage Café, Banbury Road, Kineton, Warwickshire, CV35 OJZ why not pay them a visit.



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